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BT joins the ‘we’re charging more for your own-good’ club

Price hike

BT is set to announce a number of price hikes which will affect every broadband and TV customer.

The increase will come into effect as of April 2, with prices increasing across the board. Broadband will be up £2 a month, Infinity up by £2.50, BT TV customers will start paying £3.50 for BT Sport from the beginning of the 2017/18 football season in August and Anytime calls will go up 49p, to £8.99 a month.

“Customers will get a better package and improved service from us this year in exchange for paying a little more,” said John Petter, CEO of BT’s consumer business. “Millions will have the chance to upgrade to faster broadband and almost a million will be able to upgrade to enjoy unlimited usage for no extra cost.

“As usual, we’ve taken care of low income customers by freezing the price of BT Basic and capping call costs. We’ve also frozen line rental, which will particularly help customers who only take a traditional phone service from us.”

Although the news will be unlikely to be welcomed by customers, the BT team were quick to point out it isn’t the only one increasing prices. Sky put up TV prices by up to £72 a year in June, Virgin Media recently put up line rental by £1.01 in November, and TalkTalk also raised prices from November.

Cable.co.uk has pointed out price rises exceed current CPI inflation of 1.6%, and also claim features such as call minder are up by 25p, while BT Privacy and caller display remain the same price.

“This affects every one of BT’s customers to a lesser or greater extent and is in my opinion completely unjustified,” said Dan Howdle at Cable.co.uk. “These price hikes are absurd in contrast to current rates of inflation and, quite rightly, I would expect BT customers to be fuming.

“Customers should remember that under current rules, in the event of a price hike, they have the right to switch out of their contract free of charge. As a BT customer you do get a vote in this – but it’s a vote with your feet.”

BT’s last price increase was in July 2016, when most broadband packages went up by £2 per month pushing up the price of standard broadband to £15, from £13, per month. Unlimited broadband rose to £20 per month, from £17.95. While price hikes are expected, the increase does seem to be quite steep. The BT team will have to work hard to justify such an increase, or it can expect an exodus of customers over the coming months.

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